News and notes day 20 (updated)
*The Orioles officially added Johan Santana on a Minor League deal today, with the target date June 1 for him to be an option. Santana is still rehabbing, but the Orioles feel like he’ll be able to get that velocity up after his second shoulder surgery. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said today that Santana’s surgery is the same as Bret Saberhagen, who was able to come back and have a successful year.
“He’s been really getting after his rehab,” said Duquette, who mentioned Santana’s character and veteran leadership as other factors in the deal. “He’s only 34 years old and he’s determined to come back and pitch. He has some life-long goals that he’d like to fulfill and he’s another quality left-hander that will be able to help our club.”
Santana’s contract has incentives for starts and manager Buck Showalter said today that he thinks the best way to keep Santana healthy is to have him be a starter.
“I’m excited. I think it’s great,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to say no risk, as far as, I’m not the owner [Peter Angelos], but it’s another thing that Peter’s allowed us to do that puts us in position to get kind of lucky. I’m not going to say it’s a no lose proposition. There are things you lose, but it makes a risk worth taking. I think it’s exciting, the possibility down the road. I’m hoping we get five starters who pitch so well, we don’t need it, but pedigree speaks for itself, especially with the people that have been…we have some people here who I really trust their background and their opinion with Johan.”
*Brian Roberts is here and playing second base in the cleanup spot for the Yankees. I’ll have more from Roberts on Orioles.com later, but he said he has no ill-will for the Orioles, who didn’t offer him a deal and physically is in a good place.
“I had 15 incredible years of my life there. Why would I be angry?,” he said. “There is no point in living that way. I’m grateful and thankful for every day that I had there. At some point, it was going to come to an end, whether it was you had to retire. Very few guys get to do what Derek does and walk in and say, ‘I’m done on my own terms.’ I think probably one percent of the world gets to do that, so I’m not angry. That organization, and that team and our fans and the city have been great to me and my family and I have nothing but praise for every one of them.”
Still, was Roberts –who had played his entire career in Baltimore before this season- disappointed that they didn’t even try to keep him?
“It’s hard to really sum up all the emotions that went into it,” he said. “Sure, in some way, you might be, but at the same time you understand it’s a business. I knew going into the offseason it was a possibility, and I told everyone I was fine with it if that was the case. I don’t know all the circumstances behind it. Did I want to spend my entire career there? Sure, that probably would have been my number one choice, but sure. But, that doesn’t always work out.”
*Edgmer Escalona will be shut down for three weeks with shoulder inflammation after making just one appearance. The bullpen hopeful had a second opinion, but has not had any injections yet Showalter said.
*Henry Urrutia said all of the pain in right shoulder is gone and it’s just a little sore at this point. He will throw again today and try to take batting practice and hopes to be cleared to play tomorrow. Urrutia has been shut down the past two days with inflammation in the area and Showalter said he hoped it’d only be a couple days before Urrutia is a game option.
*Alexi Casilla also is feeling better and will try to run outside tomorrow. He’s been sidelined with a hamstring issue.
*Nolan Reimold was back today practicing after dealing with food poisoning yesterday. Hitting coach Jim Presley is dealing with a similar thing.
*Nick Markakis started his offseason two weeks after last year ended, adding 16 pounds of muscle in what could be his final season as an Oriole. You can read my feature on him here.
David Lough CF
Jemile Weeks 2B
Delmon Young DH
Steve Clevenger C
Steve Pearce 1B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Francisco Peguero RF
Quintin Berry LF
Cord Phelps 3B
Wei-Yin Chen LHP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter DH
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian Roberts 2B
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan SS
Russ Canzler 1B
Yangervis Solarte LF
David Phelps RHP